Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram has consistently maintained its first rank. The drop in Bengaluru‘s rank was not due to degradation of the city’s civic amenities but due to the improvement in scores of other smaller cities such as Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Raipur and Ranchi.
According to the ASICS report, the issues plaguing Bengaluru was the absence of tiered and participatory Spatial Development Plans (SDPs) at the regional, municipal and ward levels. Added to it, the lack of institutional capacity to effectively implement SDPs – number of competent personnel for development and no policies to deter violations.
The report also highlighted the absence of design standards to guide execution of city projects. Bengaluru was also found to have little access over buoyant revenue streams such as stamp duties, professional tax and entertainment tax etc. Bengaluru‘s own revenue was only 47 per cent compared to Hyderabad (77 pc) and Mumbai (66 pc).
“One of the areas Bengaluru could improve its scores is by boosting the own revenues by enhancing the collection of property tax. As pointed out by Economic Survey 2016, Bengaluru collects only 1/10th of its property tax potential. The absence of latest audited balance sheets available in public domain, high churn in the post of the municipal commissioner, limited power with respect to appointment/termination/initiation of disciplinary action on municipal staff, weak mayoral systems – Bengaluru has an indirectly elected mayor with only one year term,” the report said adding that Bengaluru has inadequate systems for addressing service related issues such as a local body.
Credits Bangalore Mirror